Sunday, August 5, 2007

5 Reasons Why I Think Christian Schools/Parents Should Teach Evolution

In light of the symposium this weekend, I have been thinking about the question of whether Christian educators (including homeschoolers) should use or avoid secular biology textbooks at the high school level. Here are 5 reasons why I think (my opinion) they should use standard textbooks:

1. The University of CA system has already questioned whether the science textbooks published by Bob Jones and A Beka contain inaccurate science and don't expose students to enough information about evolution. They are threatening not to grant credit to those students who have used these textbooks in their high school science classes. Using a secular text by-passes this problem. And to be perfectly honest, I agree with the UC system's concerns about BJUP and A Beka.

2. Students are required to know a certain amount of evolution in the standardized tests. Using a secular text solves this problem.

3. At some point, students are going to leave the safety of their Christian "bubble" and go out into the world. If they attend a secular university, and possibly even a Christian one, they will be confronted with evolution. And chances are, it won't be a friendly confrontation. How will they respond? Using a secular textbook in high school will expose students to the standard arguments for evolution ahead of time. Isn't it better to help young people think through thorny issues before they leave home than do damage control after the fact?

4. I think it sends an unproductive message to Christian young people when we act like evolution, or people who believe in evolution, are an enemy to be conquered. The fact is, there are perfectly devout Christians who hold to thesitic (God-directed) evolution. And God loves scientists just as much as he loves everyone else. But Christians don't always act very graciously toward the scientific community.

5. Students in general need to be taught more evolution, not less. They need to really understand the arguments - on both sides - and make up their own minds on the matter. Isn't the development of critical thinking skills part of what science is all about? We already expect teenagers to be able to make all kinds of complex decisions about abortion, sex, drug use, and religion. Surely, we shouldn't shy away from discussing the complexities of evolution with them as well.


havoc said...

Bingo!, TM

David said...

Why, this makes way too much sense! Nobody will agree with you!

Smokey said...

You nailed it.

Martin LaBar said...

Amen! Naturalism, not natural selection, is the enemy.

Rusty said...

This is the basic approach we will be taking, as well. I've made it a point, when debating with evolutionists, to note that we will teach the evolutionary scenario in our homeschool. (as a sidenote, I'm more concerned about having YEC books in our house than evolutionary ones)

In terms of having a "tolerant and open-minded" approach, I also point out that we've got Origin of Species sitting on the shelf (along with several other prominent works)... now, just try and find Of Pandas & People in the public school science classroom!

Sara said...

Interesting that the tide has changed. "...evolution, or people who believe in evolution, are an enemy to be conquered." I assumed that it was still an enemy to be feared and that was why Christian parents didn't want to expose their children to it at all.

Tiff said...

I can't tell you how grateful I am to have stumbled across your site! I am only just recently leaving behind my belief in a young earth, after ignoring my own questions since I was a teenager.

I am researching everything I can about old-earth creationism, which I had no idea even existed until very recently, and am also homeschooling my children (ages 7, 6, 4, and 3).

THANK you for this article - it's how I've always felt, even when I believed in a young earth. I do NOT understand a parent's reasoning in avoiding evolution, or what it has to do with salvation.

THANK YOU. And God bless you.

KST Designs said...

These are very good reasons! I especially like #4. As I've begun researching homeschool curriculum, I've been surprised at the negative attitudes toward science and scientists in so many Christian courses. That's not how I want to teach science to my kids!

Anonymous said...

This site is like a blessing for me. I am homeschooling my son and he has Aspergers Syndrome. Needless to say he is very smart and science is his favorite subject. I couldn't teach him young earth science because it is simply not logical in his mind (which he expressed to me at the age of 3), but I have never believed in young earth science either. Though I didn't want his belief in our creator and his word to be lost in evolutionary science. I even became confused about what was "logical" and what I needed to leave up to faith.

Now that I understand that you can join god and evolution together, the gap I have felt for so long about science and faith has been bridged. I believe with all my heart that God wants his children to ponder his works in a scientific way, giving all the glory of the complexities of the universe and all its creatures to God.

Thank you so very much!

Theology Mom said...

Anonymous, I'm glad you find the site helpful. Just to clarify, I'm not a theistic evolutionist, neither do I promote theistic evolutionism. I am an old-earth creationist.

Did you know that Hugh Ross has Asperger's? Who knows? Your son might grow up to be the next Hugh Ross.

You might want to consider taking one or more of the online courses from Reasons Institute. That will really help you in teaching your son and staying one step ahead of him on the science issue.